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Home » How To Leave Behind A Meaningful Inheritance: Nancy Sharp (Transcript) 

How To Leave Behind A Meaningful Inheritance: Nancy Sharp (Transcript) 

Here is the full transcript of Life Letters coach Nancy Sharp’s talk titled “How To Leave Behind A Meaningful Inheritance” at TEDxCherry conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


The Importance of Sharing Life Experiences

Is there someone or something in your life that has great meaning to you? Raise your hand. Excellent. That’s what I thought. Remember, anything that has special significance in your life is worth sharing.

My friend Bill called me a year ago last April. He called because he was so excited about writing his life letter. Bill is a physician with no children. He was finally getting the chance to share some of the family history and the life experiences that, quite frankly, he’d been running from most of his life. The very next day after Bill called me, he got into a freak accident playing pickleball, and he broke his neck.

I went to go visit Bill in the neurosurgical intensive care unit a couple days later to help him finish what he had set out to do, to write his life letter. Two days later, it was a Thursday night, Bill called me. He left me a voicemail, and he said, “Nancy, I’m having surgery tomorrow morning. I don’t know whether I’m going to make it through the surgery or not, but I just want to say thank you because I said it all.”

Life’s Fragility and Personal Experiences

Well, Bill made it through the surgery. He lost use of all of his limbs with the injury, and he spent many months at Craig Hospital doing intense rehabilitation. This is where this picture was taken. Fortunately, Bill has shown some improvement, but he’s got a long and a tough road ahead of him.

Life is so fragile. It is so, so fragile. And I know how fragile life is because this is my story too. My first husband, Brett, died of a brain tumor when our twins, Rebecca and Casey, were just 2 1⁄2 years old. This is among the last pictures we ever took as a family at Calvary Hospice in Bronx, New York.

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